Ever since I was a kid, I was obsessed with money. Obsessed with saving money, obsessed with earning money, and even obsessed with counting money. As a kid, I would literally empty my piggy bank and start sorting all my money. I would sort the quarters, the pennies, the dimes, everything. I would do this every other week or so. We can conclude that I was a very special kid.
I love money, including finances. Even since I’ve been in high school I loved economics, it was my favorite subject. My economics teacher also happens to be my favorite teacher, so every lesson I would pay attention and be amazed. After economics, math was my favorite subject. I loved how things were very straightforward, it was or right or wrong, nothing in between.
In University, personal finance got an extra dimension when student debt would come in. I would work for 2 days per week, earning me enough to pay for my lifestyle, rent, and food. For my tuition and books, I took a student loan. I would try to sell my study books when I passed a course, so I could use the money for new books. My why has always been important. I took care of my finances so that I could study in the US for 6 months and travel South America for 4 months. I would budget, set aside an X amount of money each month and kept track of my savings account.
After my travels, my grip on my finances was not so tight anymore. I was working, earning enough, so who cares? BUT THEN, I came across the awesome FIRE movement and I read a lot of personal finance related blogs. I started this blog back in December because of accountability and community, and so far so good.
So without further ado, here is a breakdown of my spending for January:
- €280 Rent: I still live in my student apartment, which means that I can keep my costs of living low!
- €51 Groceries: Even for
me, this is an extremely low month. Normally I spend around €80. Probably because this month I’ve been to my BF’s place every weekend, so I ate all his food. Sorry, not sorry.
- €82 Eating out: I’ve been out to lunch and dinner 4 times this month, socializing and catching up. Absolutely love going out for lunch, it’s always beyond amazing. I always go to the place where they have delicious pies & cheesecakes, so I can always take dessert! But yeah, we had some coupons where you could have the second main course for free. So that’s what happened.
- €195 Credit Card: I’ve purchased some things for my blog, among others the course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing (review linked) from Making Sense of Cents. I’m very very excited about the course that Michelle made, as I am wanting to dive into this blogging thing 1000%. I’ve already completed it, and I can tell you that it’s 100% worth the investment for sure!
This means that in total, I have a savings rate of 62% I can live with that! Other things that are coming up are my performance review this Monday, very excited. Also a little nervous, because I plan to ask for a raise. Even though I know how it is done in theory and I’ve done it in the past (read my article, How to Ask for a Raise & Getting it). I’m always a little awkward when it actually happens, let’s just say it’s not my natural habitat. I’ll let you know how it goes!
January on the Blog
This is also the very first month that I track my Google Analytics. I have to admit that I was a bit addicted at first. I’m checking every 10 minutes when there will be someone on the blog, and when there is someone I’m so excited. It’s unbelievable! Also, my first comments. You are my very special people!
About the look of my blog, I’m not sure which direction I want to go. I’ve yet to decide on the perfect WordPress theme. I think I’ve switched 5 times now since I’ve started, so THANK YOU for keeping up with me! I will find the perfect theme!
My most popular blog posts of January:
- Money and Confidence As a Way to Living your Best Life: This was my most personal and most exciting story to write. Since money and confidence are the two things almost everyone struggles with
withintheir lives, it’s hard to talk about these things to me. I’m very happy that you appreciate my story! Many people try to fill the void of confidence with money. This means that changing your attitude towards confidence will radically impact your money mindset! Money will never ensure a confident life. Read my story, my lessons, and the declarations I tell myself!
- Paying Yourself First, a Powerful Hack to Financial Freedom: If you want to try another budget method, try paying yourself first! In this way, you will put aside first what you want to save. This makes it very easy, there is a chunk of money gone at the beginning of the month. The leftover money, you can spend on whatever you want!
- The Ultimate Guide to Financial Independence and Retire Early: This is quite the post that will guide you through everything needed to FIRE. It shows how much money you need to FIRE, with calculations and explanations where desired!
Okay so now let’s think of my February goals! It’s important for me to keep connecting to the people on social media, since I’ve noticed that it gives me real energy to talk to you guys! Also I would love to grow my little space on the internet, write quality posts and keep myself & you extremely happy.
- Write my first review-post
- Write one guest post (any volunteers?)
- Create Pins for every post I have
- Choose my WordPress theme (tips are very welcome!)
- Sell my old study books
- Get rid of items I don’t use/love/need
- Increase my salary by €400 gross
How was your January month financially and personally?
Founder of Spark Nomad, Radical FIRE, Journalist
- Expertise: Personal finance and travel content
- Education: Bachelor of Economics at Radboud University, Master in Finance at Radboud University, Minor in Economics at Chapman University.
- Over 200 articles, essays, and short stories published across the web.
Experience: Marjolein Dilven is a journalist and founder of Spark Nomad, a travel platform, and Radical FIRE, a personal finance platform. Marjolein has a finance and economics background with a master’s in Finance. She has quit her job to travel the world, documenting her travels on Spark Nomad to help people plan their travels. Marjolein Dilven has written for publications like MSN, Associated Press, CNBC, Town News syndicate, and more.